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Pitt offensive coordinator seeks efficiency from group

Tribune-Review
| Tuesday, August 11, 2015 10:06 p.m
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Philip G. Pavely | Trib Total Media
Pitt offensive coordinator Jim Chaney directs players Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015, on the South Side.

After he watches that final piece of videotape and is satisfied that the day’s work is done, Pitt offensive coordinator Jim Chaney will settle onto the air mattress in his office for what is usually a peaceful night’s sleep.

Yes, he is practicing that time-honored coaches’ tradition of sleeping in his office during training camp, but he’s not doing it to impress his boss or work harder than the opposing defensive coordinators in the ACC.

“I’m not one of those knuckleheads,” he said. “I don’t stay up until 4 a.m. If anything, I’m lazy and I don’t want to drive home at 10:30.”

With Chaney’s wife and daughters out of town, staying at Pitt’s practice facility beats spending an hour in the car every day and driving home to an empty house.

“Right now, there ain’t nobody (home) but me and a plant, and I’m not going to water the darn thing.”

Chaney, though, is responsible for the care and feeding of what some under his command are calling the best offense in the ACC.

Wide receiver Tyler Boyd said so this week, and he was backed up Tuesday by offensive tackle Adam Bisnowaty, who said Pitt’s offense can be “as good as we want to be.”

Actually, anyone could make a good argument that Pitt has more star power on offense than all but Clemson in the ACC.

Three Pitt players — Boyd, Bisnowaty and running back James Conner — were named to the preseason All-ACC team. Clemson has four and the other 12 have one or none.

Boyd, Conner and Florida State kicker Roberto Aguayo are the only first-team All-ACC offensive players who returned this season.

Chaney is excited about the potential of his group, but he can wait before making any proclamations. Even Boyd said the team must stand behind its words.

“You talk about it, you be about it,” he said.

Chaney’s goals are simple.

“I want to be as efficient and as good as we have to be to win games,” he said. “If that ends up at the end of the year we are ranked high in the ACC, so be it. Our goal is to score one more point than the defense gives up.

“I think we have enough weapons to be a solid offense. I’m excited about that, but we have a long way to go.”

Chaney said the offense needs more balance and efficiency.

“Last year, (former coach) Paul (Chryst) ran the ball exceptionally well,” he said. “We would like to continue to do that and pick up the passing game. A little more efficient, a little more explosive.”

He said he “personally” likes to throw the ball downfield — a philosophy that could increase quarterback Chad Voytik’s production — but he also wants to add the screen pass to the offense.

“We would like to be good enough so we can pull it out of the tool box anytime we need it,” he said.

That means more touches for Conner.

“I don’t know if that will affect his production in the run game or not, but at the end of the day, there are a lot of yards in that body.

“My intentions are to use that horse and let him play.”

Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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